Book Review: Ender’s Game


For some reason I was never a big science fiction reader, which is a bit peculiar considering I spend so much of my time studying science as a biology major. I think it may have been the fact that shows like Star Trek always seemed so corny, and the result on screen seems to always fall too short of the realism that the writers intended. It is for this reason that it took so long for me to pick up Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, and now I am filled with the regret that comes with missing out on these books when I was a child.

If this book hasn’t been recommended to you before I would be surprised, but if not let me be the first to tell you that this is a must read! The suspense that Card maintains relentlessly throughout this novel is unparalleled, and I am sure you will enjoy it thoroughly regardless of your preferred genre of literature. However, to give you an idea of how gripping this book truly is I’ll use the timeframe in which I read it. I picked up the book on a Sunday night on my way back to school and I read the first two chapter before I went to bed. I was so anxious to continue reading that I started the second I got on the bus to my first class. I finished the entire novel that night by sneaking a few pages in during classes and abandoning all of my school work for the rest of the day.

The novel follows the journey of Ender Wiggin, a child genius who has been chosen to train among other elite children at a Battle School located in space. These children are training to become future commanding officers so that they may protect humanity against their biggest alien threat, who are infamously named the Buggers. On his journey Ender not only fights to live up to the ridiculous expectations that his intellect has given him, but he must also struggle to find friends in the competitive atmosphere of the Battle School.

The story and the ridiculous pace with which Card writes his novel is what makes this a must read. However, all novels have their faults and this one is no exception. While Card makes his novel very easy to pick up and comprehend, it does fall short in some cases in its attempts to include deeper themes. Instead of using subtlety, Card often shoves philosophy into the readers face, which can sometimes slow down the suspenseful pace, which he maintains for the majority of the novel. This is a very small price to pay, however, considering how exceptional the novel is as a whole.

Ender’s Game is the first book of a series, but I have heard that the others fall short of the bar that Card set with this novel. I can’t comment on them personally as of yet, but I’ll probably give the next book a shot in the near future.

My rating system is on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being a perfect novel. I will also note next to the numerical rating whether I think you should buy, skip, or barrow the book from your local library.

This one gets a solid 9.4, and considering that I will probably be reading it again I would recommend that you buy this novel. What do you guys think?


9.4 – Buy

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Ender’s Game

  1. J. says:

    I freaking love this book. My dad recommended it years ago, but I didn’t get around to reading it until last year. The seventh-grade students at my school read it as part of the English curriculum. An awesome, sophisticated novel: not just for young adults.

    • benfaysays says:

      I wish my high school had included it as part of our curriculum. Have you read Speaker for the Dead? I heard that Card gets a little too heavy on the Christian philosophy as the series goes on, but I’ll probably still pick it up once I get through my current summer reading.

      • J. says:

        I haven’t read any of the follow-ups, though people have recommended them. My reading list in neverending, so it’s difficult to remember all of them. I aim for about ten books a break, the list keeps growing.

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